We’ve all been there, staring down a tiny little cellphone display (normally while on the bathroom) watching a modified automotive video on YouTube.
These movies had been, and nonetheless are to at the present time, a few of the most fascinating methods to get sucked into our automotive neighborhood. I cherished the extra cinematic, movie-esque stuff most. Mike Koziel’s 2014 H2Oi film immediately springs to thoughts as one thing that helped me get hooked on the higher world of low, modified vehicles.
Inside this area of interest style of automotive content material sat the drifting movies. A style inside a style, once more taking a cinematic, arty perspective on the drift automotive or occasion it was specializing in. Once I was 15 years previous, I bear in mind discovering Norbefilm’s The Ugly Duckling, which centred on the barely redundant trying, but infinitely cool on the time E36 that Norbertas Daunoravičius discovered to float in.
Right here’s a man that turned his interest of studying to drift in his previous BMW into a movie – wonderful. There have been many, many movies like the 2 talked about on the market and, naturally, the extra I dug round YouTube the extra I’d discover.
Someday in 2018, I discovered one in every of my all-time favourites. Nevertheless, this wasn’t a movie, however a trailer for a movie.
Once you clicked the thumbnail you had been greeted by the timeless, iconic excessive synths of Mannie Recent’s ‘Actual Large’. I immediately discovered myself singing “Home actual large, vehicles actual large…” because the nostalgia of mid-’00s PlayStation 2 video games struck my coronary heart like a thunderbolt thrown by Zeus himself.
And on the display? A busy, overloaded montage of what was to come back, opening up with the textual content ‘NEXT LEVEL’ actually on fireplace. A online game turned actual life was occurring proper in entrance of my eyes.
A large-body, crimson E46 M3 sporting the widest Weds Kranze Cerberus II wheels the world has ever seen, evening observe antics, and the bottom drift vehicles on observe, all of which fitted with quantity plates. These weren’t race vehicles constructed for the observe; these had been avenue vehicles constructed for the observe, styled with a mixture of influences stretching from archival ’90s footage of Japanese touge motion to the ‘Actual Large’ music video itself.
The 42-second-long visible overdose – which you’ll be able to watch above – captured my creativeness. I wanted to be taught extra about this occasion, and about Subsequent Stage Drift. Most significantly although, I wanted to become involved myself. I needed to be a part of no matter was occurring right here.
The Subsequent Stage Drift title emerged in 2016, with the group’s first large occasion, merely titled ‘Worldwide’, occurring in 2018. It took me 5 years to finish my objective, however a few weekends again I lastly made the journey to Poland for a Subsequent Stage Drift Worldwide occasion.
On arrival I used to be welcomed with open arms by the organisers. I used to be fast to clock onto the truth that everybody right here is aware of one another, and what’s a big drift occasion internet hosting drivers from throughout Europe (and additional afield) can be naturally an in depth group of nice mates operating an occasion for his or her mates. A chance to get collectively and share a likeminded tackle drifting, which I’ll get into slightly later.
Filip Fiji is the principle helmsman behind the Subsequent Stage group. He’s the one you see right here on the mic doing the motive force briefing.
This 12 months’s occasion passed off at Autodrom Jastrzab, a big race observe situated within the Polish midlands with one fairly distinctive characteristic – a hill going straight right into a hairpin. I might quickly be taught that this a part of the observe would see 70, 80 even 90mph reverse entries over a blind crest from vehicles hovering actually millimetres above the floor.
On Filip’s proper (your left) is Jacek, who owns the Lexus IS the fellows are leaning in opposition to. Being one of many gents liable for the occasion, I personally see his IS as one of many poster vehicles of Subsequent Stage Drift. Jacek was that man with the walkie-talkie and a pickup truck, managing the automotive move of the entire day.
The one draw back of proudly owning the roles Filip and Jacek do, is that they’re too busy being managers to get any seat time themselves. Filip’s E36 and Jacek’s IS had been subsequently lacking from the observe enjoyable, however that is the place the opposite pair liable for the occasion are available. Jakub and Arek Tatara are two brothers additionally concerned with the day-to-day organisation and operating of Subsequent Stage Drift, however they acquired the possibility to get out on observe themselves.
Arek’s crimson S14 appears to be like like one thing straight out of a Japanese automotive journal, and might generally be seen being trailered by Jakub’s E38 BMW 740i. Yup, that E38, seen right here shredding it out on observe, is definitely a tow rig.
Jakub, generally generally known as Don Musk, towed one in every of his drift vehicles to the occasion with the 7 Sequence. His yellow E36 has been with him by thick and skinny now for what appears like 15 years, and has seen quite a few appears to be like over that point. Sadly, proper firstly of the Saturday, the M54 engine that powers the E36 kicked up a basic M54 downside and determined to delete its oil pump, alas, retiring the automotive for the entire weekend earlier than it even began. When the drift automotive breaks, naturally you get the tow rig out on observe, proper?
It’s this form of decided drive, perspective and pretty laid again determination making that helped the Subsequent Stage Drift group earn their repute. It went hand in hand with their collective ethos for constructing and styling drift vehicles.
“We began Subsequent Stage Drift form of underneath the Raceism (now Ultrace) wing,” Filip explains to me. “We cherished drifting low vehicles, and we needed to take the usual of present vehicles you’d see on the present and apply it to float vehicles. We needed to take it to the subsequent stage, which is the place the title got here from.”
“The stanced-out present vehicles are cool, certain, however merely parking them is slightly boring for us. We needed to point out the plenty right here in Europe that drift vehicles can look good with wonderful wheel fitment in addition to the practical modifications.”
“In fact, we’re influenced by the massive drift scene in Japan, their manner of styling and neighborhood, and we combined that with our personal avenue drifting scene right here in Poland. For me, it’s the proper mixture. It helped us to give you Subsequent Stage Drift, and make it an occasion that we might love to observe as spectators as a lot as we might like to drive at.”
The world seen, and worldwide company began to have a presence on the Subsequent Stage Drift occasions. This 12 months, System D drivers joined to drive alongside the acquainted faces who attended the occasion in 2018, who had been now additionally driving alongside widespread automotive YouTubers and media personalities.
Filip, Jacek, Jakub and Arek actually did assist to raise the Polish avenue drifting neighborhood to the subsequent stage. Their objective is of their title, and so they’re proper on observe to realize it.
I requested Filip what’s subsequent in retailer for the way forward for Subsequent Stage. “Lots!” he answered right away. “There’s much more media work deliberate for subsequent 12 months.” That is fairly thrilling for me, as that one trailer is essentially the explanation I’m writing this text. “We have to in some way make our desires come true too. We have to push them to the subsequent stage. We have to take the group to Japan and drift on the market, that’s the dream. Let’s see what the longer term holds.”
Till then, I’ll depart you with one in every of my chunky picture galleries to flick by. See you on the subsequent one.